We are currently offering free professional development opportunities throughout 2020. You can register below if you would like to participate in this PD via Zoom. All teaching resources will be available free of charge to those that participate in the PD. This PD will be in real time and can be accessed from any screen throughout the world using freely available Zoom software. Please click on the link below to register. Feel free to sign up by clicking on a topic below. You can register for one session or more.
Speaker- Matthew Wills was the Head of Philosophy, Values and Religion at Hale School in Perth, Western Australia. He has worked in excellent independent schools in NSW, SA and WA. Until 2007 he was the Chief Executive Officer for DAN, a network of over 450 Australasian schools and universities. In 2009 he was awarded the Winston Churchill Fellowship and an Australia Award in 2013 from the federal government for excellence in teaching. He was an executive member of the WA Association of Philosophy in Schools where he completed level 1 and level 2 training in P4C and has been instrumental in the successful introduction and growth of various popular initiatives to promote Philosophy and Ethics for students including Philosothons and Ethics Olympiads. In 2015 he was awarded the Outstanding Professional Service Award from the Professional Teaching Council of Western Australia. In 2017 his application for funding from the Templeton Foundation was successful and he is currently managing the Philosothon Project. He is married with two children.
This session will cater for anyone that would like to find out about how a Philosothon works. Delegates will be provided with some background about the events. We will also focus on the benefits for students participating in the event. There is no onus on participants to sign up for a Philosothon or run one. Delegates will be provided with some tips on how to prepare for a Philosothon, and some resources for teachers wanting to develop students’ philosophical skills and knowledge base. As the person who started Philosothons 10 years ago Mr Wills is well placed to address any questions you might have about Philosothons.
One of the most effective mechanisms for engaging young people in clear and constructive thinking is to start a Philosophy Club in your school. This does not have to be an onerous task for busy teachers. Rather, student led Philosophy Clubs should engage students in the process of skills development and free a teacher to participate when they can. This session will be aimed at people yet to start a Philosophy club at their school and those who already have a Philosophy club at their school and who would like some useful tips and resources going forward.
This session will be useful for any teacher who would like to use their subject content, whichever subject that might be, to develop student skills in critical and collaborate thinking. Teachers will be given tips and resources that can be used in the classroom.
Over recent years Primary School Philosothons have been an effective vehicle for teaching students thinking skills. These events have tended not to emphasize the competitive dimension which is usually a characteristic of Philosothons, but rather the emphasis is on skills development and affirmation of students as they demonstrate skills. This session will outline some of the ways in which Philosothons have been used in the Primary years and provide teachers/parents with resources to use with their children.
One exciting development recently has been the development of software to assist schools in running a Philosothon. This software assists in the process of collating information in the preparation for a Philosothon, it collates and prints the programs needed to run a Philosothon, it collates all the marks and generates useful reports to all stakeholders. This session will be useful to people interested in finding out more about the software and those that have purchased the software who would like some assistance in using it.
- Philosothon Facilitators Training Session- Thursday June 18th 4 - 5 pm EST
It is important that those facilitating a Community Of Inquiry at a Philosothon are familiar with the processes and expectations associated with running a COI with groups of school students. Their role is vital to the success of a Philosothon. This session will provide some practical tips for anyone asked to facilitate a COI. No background in Philosophy for Schools (P4C) is assumed. The
session will provide resources to help you run a COI both in a Philosothon context and in other contexts.
Judging a Philosothon can be a daunting prospect. Without some guidance about the process it is difficult to assess accurately students’ skills within the allotted time frame. This session will provide participants with a breakdown of the marking key and some guidelines about how a Philosothon judge can carefully apply the criteria. We will use the current marking key and apply it to a COI. Judges that are new to Philosothons will be provided with tips about how to apply the marking key.
According to the Australian National Curriculum, schools are meant to be developing critical thinking skills in students from Reception-Year 12. This session will provide teachers with resources that they can use within any subject.
- An Introduction to the Australasian Philosothon Thursday July 16th
This session is designed to address questions that participating teachers might have in relation to the Australasian Philosothon. The session will go through the current program and recent developments in the program. The session will be particularly useful to schools that are about to participate in their first Australasian Philosothon.